Time of Change

Communism ended during my last year at university. I felt I was witnessing history when people climbed over the crumbling Berlin Wall. As a German student I was in awe of what was happening. Germany then went on to absorb 25million people. Soon after I met a guy from the East and his joy was clear.

With the mass migrations from Africa and the Middle East we are witnessing history again. Again we see Germany opening its heart and borders to hundreds of thousands of new citizens. Some say they do it to provide workers to address the dependency ratio problem. Maybe, but they still do it, and the people in Landshut who converted their Festzelt to a shelter weren’t thinking that way. For the second time in my lifetime we see a monumental moment of history unfold. We see incredible kindness. We see the power of hope, the energy of those seeking a better life.

I am overwhelmed with the support my family and I receive. I am overwhelmed when another lovingly prepared meal is left at our house, when a mum fixes up nine pairs of my trousers, when a dad from school cuts our lawn, when people write me amazing messages of support, when people take time to support Jane, when my friend from The Gambia comes to our house so we can play the African drums together. I am overwhelmed by the professionalism of the counsellor at the hospice as Sebastian puts cushions on our head and just answers ‘golf’; I can see how hard she is trying to help.

It is truly a time of change. The culture of fear must be replaced by one of trust and love. TV news and most newspapers thrust fear into the minds of people. They create insecurity and doubt.

People are ‘being the change’. Fed up of buying processed foods, they are buying more locally grown and organic foods. People are signing petitions on a larger scale to drive change. People are loading up their cars and taking them to where displaced people are camped.

Enjoy these times as history unfolds before our eyes. As we give to others our hearts full with joy and it makes us glad to be alive.

Andrew Knowlman

I am a 50-year old father of two children, married to Jane. I live in Hertfordshire, UK. I was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis in April 2015.

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